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A Preliminary Investigation on the Occurrence and Distribution of Antibiotics in the Yellow River and its Tributaries, China

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This study investigated the residues of antibiotics present in the Yellow River and its tributaries. Ofloxacin, norfloxacin, roxithromycin, erythromycin, and sulfamethoxazole, were found in the river with mean concentrations from 25 to 152 ng/L, and in certain tributaries from 44 to 240 ng/L. The other four analytes were all below the limits of quantification. The results indicated that the detected antibiotics in the middle and lower Yellow River were primarily from its tributaries and ambient wastewater discharge. The concentrations of the antibiotics detected in the river were greater than that in other rivers in Europe. The antibiotics in the river and its tributaries at ng/L concentrations found in this study are unlikely to induce lethal toxicity to aquatic organism but could cause chronic ecological effects.

Keywords: China; Yellow River; antibiotics; distribution; tributaries

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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